A new book by America's leading literary critic on the uses of deep reading. Practical, inspirational and learned, How to Read and Why is Bloom's manifesto for the preponderance of written culture. In the vastly influential The Western Canon, Harold Bloom outlined what we should read to understand a greater depth of the individual self. How to ...
A new book by America's leading literary critic on the uses of deep reading. Practical, inspirational and learned, How to Read and Why is Bloom's manifesto for the preponderance of written culture. In the vastly influential The Western Canon, Harold Bloom outlined what we should read to understand a greater depth of the individual self. How to Read and Why continues the argument and focusses on how we use literature in order to gain deeper self-awareness. Poems, stories, novels, plays and parables are all analysed as forms of writing as immersion, the language of individuality and inwardness: Shakespeare's sonnets, the short stories of Hemingway and de Cervantes, the novels of Proust and Calvino, Sophocles's Oedipus Rex and Mark's Gospel. Harold Bloom also addresses the idea of why we read: increased individuality, respite from visual bombardment, a return to 'deep feeling' and 'deep thinking'. How to Read and Why is an essential book for any reader, an introduction to the world of written culture, an inspirational self-help book for students and teachers alike.
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Publishers Weekly, 2000-05-08 This aesthetic self-help manual is a reliably idiosyncratic guide to what Yale literary critic Bloom calls "the most healing of pleasures"? reading well. In chapters that focus on short stories, poems, novels and plays, Bloom takes readers on a swift but satisfying joyride through the West's most outrageous, original and exuberant texts?classics by Chekhov, Flannery O'Connor, Borges, Dickinson, Proust, Ralph Ellison and Toni Morrison, among others. Unconventionally organized by literary genre, his text is passionately anecdotal and observant. By asking great questions?"Why does Lady Bracknell delight us so much?"; "How does one read a short story?"?Bloom hopes to influence our reading lists and habits. He gives some texts, such as Moby-Dick, almost cursory treatment; others he discusses at length. Fans of his bestselling Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998) will find the lengthy discussion of Hamlet here to be a kind of coda. Overall, this book is a testament to Bloom's view that reading is above all a pleasurably therapeutic event. "Imaginative literature is otherness, and as such alleviates loneliness," he notes, reminding us of what's inexhaustible about writers such as Whitman and Borges and attesting to the satisfaction that literary texts offer our solitary selves. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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